Tackling Social Media

Whew. I just finished writing a story about Social Media and ROI (return on investment) in the consumer and business-to-business magazine industries. It’s due out in August.

I have a confession to make. It was difficult to write a straightforward piece on social media and ROI . I found that I was burdened with too many personal opinions and raw ideas about the magazine industry and online to write the story. I had to write an entire first draft just to put those ideas aside. Here’s some of the personal musing/ranting that came out of the first writing exercise:

I remember sitting at a magazine circulation management conference in the New York Hilton, just a few years ago. The words “digital magazine” kept coming up in session titles, in presentations, and in the exhibit hall. At the time, the term, digital magazine sounded like an oxymoron.

While publishers at the conference discussed measuring online traffic as if it were the same as print readership and debated free versus paid content, I remember thinking we were missing the point of online communication completely. I still have notebooks from that day, scrawled with comments like, “It’s not a digital magazine, it’s a website!”…

What does this have to do with Social media and ROI? Not much at all. I was just unloading my frustration with the magazine industry and its seemingly backward approach to online. Cathartic- but not relevant, and definitely not journalism.

Getting all of my personal thoughts out of the way, I soon found focus and several great thought-leaders to talk to about investing in social media. Since I went to that conference a few years ago, publishers have made enormous strides in online strategy. The sources I spoke to are embracing social media and seeing ROI. They had lot of great information to share, so stay tuned for links to the article.

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